The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local news

January 30, 2014

Giving time and talent: Oklahoma Mission of Mercy slated Feb. 7-8 at Expo Center

ENID, Okla. — Even though the online cutoff for volunteering at the Oklahoma Mission of Mercy at Chisholm Trail Expo Center is midnight today, it’s still possible to give time and talent to the cause.

Scheduled for Feb. 7-8 of next week, OkMOM is an annual two-day event where dentists, hygienists, dental assistants and medical assistants set up shop and give dental exams, extractions, fillings, root canals and teeth cleanings on a first-come, first-served basis. There are no eligibility or income requirements for those who are treated — they need only be in need of dental care.

Tina Evans, director of communications and education for Oklahoma Dental Association, said that although the event has drawn more than 2,000 volunteers, additional volunteers can come to the Expo Center during OkMOM and volunteer on site.

“Dental assistants are still needed and if weather interferes with travel in the region, additional volunteers in all areas could be necessary,” Evans said. “We are getting really excited, but also watching the weather forecast very closely. In the event that our out-of-town volunteers can’t make it to Enid, we might need more people to volunteer on-site.”

For those who volunteered online by today, T-shirts and name tags can be picked up starting at 11 a.m. Thursday at Chisholm Trail Expo Center.

“We encourage volunteers to check in and pick up their packet on Thursday if at all possible,” Evans said.

Janet Cordell, coordinator of Enid Community Clinic, said OkMom is about providing relief from pain, not about “helping people look better.”

Volunteers should show up at the time listed on their shift confirmation, wearing comfortable clothing and shoes.

Volunteers are asked to follow a few guidelines:

• Do not bring coats, purses, wallets and cell phones unless you can keep them on you at all times. Money and identification will not be needed. There will not be security to watch belongings left in cars, so valuables should be left at home.

• Cell phones should be set on silent and not be used on the treatment floor.

• People with special dietary needs should bring their own snacks. There will be donated foods, but those may or may not meet special dietary needs.

• Volunteers are asked to be patient and flexible. OkMOM is expected to host about 2,000 patients and their families.

• Parking volunteers should dress in weather-appropriate clothing, including gloves and a hat if needed.

• Volunteers under 18 need to have a legal guardian fill out a consent form and bring it signed to volunteer registration when they arrive.

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